CFC’s Byrd Visits Sport Management Class

Academics, News
Alton Byrd speaks to sport management students.
Alton Byrd speaks to sport management students.

Lee University recently welcomed Alton Byrd, CEO of Chattanooga Football Club (CFC), to speak to sport management students about his experience in the field. 

Byrd’s presentation took place in the Foundations of Sport Management class, but the invitation was open to any sport management major or faculty that wished to attend. The focus is to expose students to the various facets of sport management and foster future connections and careers in athletics. 

“What stood out to me most about what Alton Byrd said was what he considered the key to success: consistency, passion, and honesty, as well as the dedication and willingness to go above and beyond,” said sophomore sport management major Matthew Cardoso. 

Following its transition into the Major League Soccer subsidiary MLS NEXT Pro, CFC has aimed to develop its relationship with the greater Chattanooga area. Dr. Lynda Bowers, assistant professor of sport management, spoke with Byrd’s staff and the CFC community engagement team and asked Byrd to visit Lee. 

Byrd has experience in business operations, marketing and branding, building global connections, and sales growth. During his career in sport management, Byrd has helped develop, close, and retain sponsorship revenue with the Long Island Nets and Nets Gaming Crew. He has managed multicultural marketing deals with various companies, such as Diageo North America, Jim Beam, and Macy’s. He is also a member of the NBA G League Team Leadership and Sponsorship committees, the NBA 2K League Business council, and Diversity Council. 

Lee’s sport management program seeks to prepare its students for careers in the business side of athletics. The program is integrated with Lee’s School of Business, Communication Arts, and the Helen DeVos College of Education, exposing students to various topics and course instructors. Through this program, students get the chance to explore their interests in media, general business, marketing, event management, and coaching administration. 

“What I like best about the sport management program is getting to interact with students and help create connections between area businesses and Lee University,” said Bowers. “Our community partners are excellent and very willing to share knowledge with students, and many of them offer internships, too.” 

Lee University’s sport management program frequently partners with Lee Athletics, YMCA-Cleveland, HighPoint Climbing Gym, Cleveland Country Club, the Cleveland Boys and Girls Club, and Ohh Yeah Fitness to provide its students with opportunities to build connections, apply for internships, and explore career options. 

To learn more about sport management, contact Bowers at [email protected] or visit Lee’s website at leeu/sport-management/

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